If you are a new horse owner, you might not know exactly how to take care of a horse. A horse will need to be vaccinated regularly, just like dogs and other pets. Since your horse is a very large animal, you will need to keep up with its preventative care even more than you might with a dog or a cat. When your horse is down with any common horse illnesses, you might find yourself sleeping on a bale of hay next to him.
There are a lot of ways and things you can do to ensure that your horse stays healthy. You can take him to regular vet visits to make sure they are getting a health exam. By doing this every year, you can easily spot minor changes in your horse’s appearance and blood work that will help you catch any diseases more quickly.
Also, make sure that your horse is up-to-date on all vaccines. There are a number of immunizations that you can give your horse to help protect them from at least the most common illnesses. All horses should also get a flu vaccine, just like humans do every fall season. The vaccine is a short-term solution, but if you give the vaccine to him at least twice a year, it will help your horse significantly. If you are about to compete in an event, you can ask your vet to give your horse this vaccine four times a year to increase his chances of being healthy.
Equine encephalomyelitis is a deadly virus for horses. It is fortunately avoidable if you give your horse a vaccine against it once a year. The disease is caused by mosquitoes, so even if your horse doesn’t compete, it should have this vaccine yearly. However, if your horse travels for competitions, you might want to vaccinate him for a variety of strains of the virus since different mosquitoes in different parts of the country carry a unique strain of the virus.
Another fatal horses illnesses disease that mosquitoes carry is called the West Nile virus. Again, since horses are often outside, this vaccine is crucial to their help. You will have to have your horse vaccinated against this illness at least once a year. Sometimes, you will have to get a vaccine twice a year, depending on the vaccine and type of West Nile you are trying to avoid.
There is yet another vaccine that you will have to get for your horse and that’s the tetanus vaccine. Humans receive this vaccine once every 10 years, but horses need to have it once a year. Sometimes, a horse that has tetanus will recover from the disease, but most of the time, this illness causes a very painful death for the infected animal. For this reason, you need to be very careful to get this shot for your horse.
Horses also need to be dewormed regularly as well. If your horse is grazing on land where there are worms, you will have to treat them. After all, if left untreated, worms are deadly for horses. You will need to have them dewormed on a regular basis.
You will also need to talk to your vet about colic. Colic is a common health problem with horses but can cause them a lot of pain so it pays to discuss it with your vet now.